Questions about the English Verb Tenses Course
I did two exercises of lesson 3 in the 10-day course of English verb tenses.
I have some things which I don't really understand. Please help me!
(A) In exercise 1:
I don't understand why the past progressive tense was used in this sentence.
"2. They were playing (play) outside all morning."
"All morning" means now they are still playing!
So I think it should be the simple present.
In addition, what is the aspect of the action?
Hi again Tu,
I'm happy to see you are asking about things that are not clear to you. That is they way to succeed! :)
Now, I will answer each question, one by one, starting with this first one.
I can understand your confusion. It can indeed go both ways. The speaker may have in mind the past or the present.
If it is now noon he can say, "They were playing outside all morning."
If it is still morning, he can say, "They are playing outside all morning."
(B) And why is the present progressive tense used in this case?
"9. This month they are renovating (renovate) the house."
This month, may be they already finished the work, or didn't they?
"This month" can indicate this is a temporal action. They don't regularly renovate their house. This action is in progress currently. We want to emphasize they are in the middle of it, so we use the present progressive tense.
(C) In exercise 2:
I don't understand why we use the future progressive in the last sentence:
"I will live (live) in a big house. I will have (have) a big family, and I will make (make) a lot of people happy!"
I think she already has a big house, already has a big family, and she already makes a lot of people happy, doesn't she? Because now she is a famous singer and very successful!
That may be so, but since she is talking about her future the sentences are in the simple future tense.
(D) The last question: what are the signs (hints) when doing exercises about verb tense? Specifically, I don't understand the signs in the above sentences!
That's a good question. These are the signs:
First, you need to spot the time of the action. Determine whether it is in the past, present or future.
Then, determine the aspect of the action. Should you emphasize that it is in progress or complete?
For example, "When you called me last night I _______________ (get ready) to leave the house."
What is the time of the action? Last night --> past.
Is there any emphasis regarding aspect? Yes, it seems that the action was in progress when the other person called --> progressive.
Now we combine the two: past + progressive --> past progressive.
"When you called me last night I was getting ready to leave the house."
These are my questions when I finished lesson 3. It seems a bit harder for me!
Please help me and answer these questions. I hope to receive your answer and I'm waiting for the answer!
Sorry for any inconvenience!
Thank you so much for the free course about these verb tenses!
I hope this makes things a bit more clear. Let me know if you still have questions :)